All-American Sun Oven Review

all american sun oven header The All American SUN OVEN is a very popular solar cooker option. Everyone I know who has tried the SUN OVEN gives it a positive review. However, I feel like people just default to this oven and don’t seriously consider other options. Of all the solar ovens I tested, the SUN OVEN was the largest and heaviest. It is well-equipped with a lot of extras and features. You can tell the manufacturer put a lot of thought into this solar oven. It’s at the top of the price range but it’s a good value. If you’re considering investing in a long-lasting solar oven, I recommend the SUN OVEN.

Price: $349-$399

All American Sun Oven Specs

Brand Price Size Capacity Stored Size Carrying Case
All-American Sun Oven $349-$399 19x19x14 without reflector Large 19x19x14 None
Ease of Use Durability Heat Potential Cooking Speed Packaging Portability Accessories
All-American Sun Oven

Who is this solar oven for?

The All American SUN OVEN is perfect for larger groups or families because of its larger cooking chamber. I’d also consider the SUN OVEN if you live in a part of the world where the days are short because this solar stove tends to cook faster than most. I wouldn’t recommend the SUN OVEN for those who live in a small space, move often, or are on a budget. While this solar oven can be moved, I consistently found myself not wanting to move it because it’s bulky and heavy.

How this solar oven cooked:

The All American SUN OVEN cooked very well. It was one of the hotter ovens I tested. The cooking chamber was roomy and large enough to cook a whole turkey. This solar oven was also great for cooking whole chickens, but I found getting a golden skin was a challenge. Overall, this was a good oven for most foods I attempted to cook. I really liked how I could open the glass while the reflector was deployed, making it simple to check on the cooking progress.

What I liked about this solar oven:

The top two aspects of the All American SUN OVEN that stood out for me were the speed of cooking and the unique aiming device. The aiming device was integrated right into the handle of the glass door. Undoubtedly related, I found their mechanism for aiming the oven at the sun the best out of all the ovens I tested.

What I didn’t like about this oven:

After hauling the SUN OVEN in and out of storage several times, I found the leg on the oven to be a problem. During my time owning this oven, I’ve cut myself twice (never deep, but enough that it stuck in my mind).

Because the All American SUN OVEN was hard to maneuver, I’d often leave it out in the field where I cook, and it would inevitably rain. I’m sure the manufacturer would argue I shouldn’t leave it outside, but the bulk and weight make it inevitable. If the SUN OVEN is left outside, I would recommend they upgrade the screws to stainless steel (to prevent rusting) and reinforce the reflector so it doesn’t bend easily. See the video for more on this aspect of the SUN OVEN.

All-American Sun Oven Photos

My Interview with the All American SUN OVEN Manufacturer

Can you give a quick rundown of your company and who you are?

We are committed to helping families in the U.S. to save energy and prepare for emergencies. To do this, we are involved in solar cooking projects in deforested countries on 5 continents. A portion of U.S. sales help finance these endeavors.

SUN OVENs have been on the market since 1986. In 1998, we assumed the role of manufacturing and marketing of SUN OVEN from the inventor, Tom Burns.

What is the background or story of the design of this solar oven?

Tom Burns, the inventor, owned a chain of restaurants and was an active member of Rotary International for more than 50 years. He knew a lot about cooking and traveled around the world for Rotary. In his travels, he learned of the millions of women and children who died each year due to inhaling smoke from cooking fires, as well as the hazards of forest fire and effects of deforestation. He spent the next 10 years and his entire life savings developing SUN OVEN and bringing them to market.

Between 1986 and 2012, the Global SUN OVEN was the company’s main product. In 2013, the All American SUN OVEN was introduced. It was designed with the input of over 2,500 GSO users to be more user-friendly and be more appealing to the US market.

Who is this solar oven for and who isn’t it for?

SUN OVENs appeal to people who enjoy cooking outdoors, who are seeking ways to save money, are concerned with the environment, and live off-grid and/or are concerned about long-term power outages. It might not be for you because it’s a different way of cooking. [If you use the oven], you should enjoy being outside, be willing to take it a little slower and like to cook your own meals.

What is one tip you could share about getting the most out of your solar cooker?

Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s almost impossible to burn food in a SUN OVEN. Food doesn’t dry out, so it’s very difficult to screw anything up. When in doubt, cook longer.

When people have trouble cooking in your oven, what advice do you offer most often?

When leaving a SUN OVEN unattended for more than 30 minutes, always leave it so it will be properly aligned with the sun halfway through the time you will be gone. As an example, if it is 8am and you are starting to cook dinner, set the SUN OVEN facing where the sun will be at noon. Or if it is 1pm and you plan to eat at 5pm, place the oven so it will be properly aligned at 3pm.

What’s your favorite recipe or dish to cook in your oven?

You can bake up to a 21lb turkey in a SUN OVEN! Here’s my favorite way to do it: Rub some butter or olive oil on the skin. Stick a food thermometer in the innermost part of the thigh and place the turkey in a baking bag.

Tie the baking bag tight to trap the moisture in the bag. Cook for 6 to 8 hours while realigning the SUN OVEN every hour. It will be done when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F, as measured with the food thermometer. The light meat will be more moist than any dark meat turkey you have ever eaten!

solar oven plans